Welcome to the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences (CPS).
CPS is an interdisciplinary science department comprising Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences and Astronomy. Our vibrant research labs examine questions such as how cells are programmed, how proteins function, how we develop materials for human health and sustainable future, how Earth’s climate and biosphere change over time, how we monitor and predict natural hazards, and how students learn to approach these challenges.
We offer undergraduate programs in Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences and Astronomy as well as interdisciplinary specializations in Biological Chemistry, Biomedical Physics, and Environmental Geoscience. Our students have access to state-of-the-art teaching laboratories, are involved in cutting-edge research projects in our research labs, and pursue internships at a broad range of technology companies across the GTA. Few departments can offer as wide an array of experiences as can CPS, from mapping in the Andes, to simulating protein folding, to building a laser trap.
Our department is home to 24 full-time faculty, including award-winning educators and researchers, who supervise a total of 90 graduate students and 12 postdocs in the CPS research labs. About 40% of our faculty have been hired in the last 10 years, the result of a recruitment and renewal drive that is ongoing.
Whether you are a prospective or current undergraduate student wishing to know more about our programs and research opportunities or a graduate student wanting to learn about graduate studies at CPS, please feel free to check out our website and contact us!
The Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences supports the meaningful acknowledgement of the land on which the University of Toronto operates.
Professor Voula Kanelis is one of the featured authors of the recently published paper entitled "Structure of Ycf1p reveals the transmembrane domain TMD0 and the regulatory region of ABCC transporters". PNAS, 2021.
Katie Maloney and her PhD Supervisor, Professor Marc Laflamme’s discovery of fossilized microscopic algae in the Wernecke Mountains of the Yukon Territory sheds light on the timeline of eukaryotic evolution. Geology, 2021.
Protein drugs are part of the next-gen drug arsenal against oncoprotein Myc. Professor Jumi Shin and her lab combined rational design and continuous evolution to make MEF, a small protein that can block Myc binding to E-box DNA in this ACS Chemical Biology paper.
Dr. Daniel Nino, former CPS undergraduate Daniel Djayakarsana, and Professor Josh Milstein published an article in PLOS Computational Biology on an accurate, highly-efficient and flexible algorithm for quantifying spatial clustering in 3-dimensional single-molecule localization microscopy datasets.
Mitchell McMillan and his PhD Supervisor, Professor Lindsay Schoenbohm investigated the role of strong wind in the landscape formation in the Andes Mountain in Argentina. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 2020.
Professor Jumi Shin and her lab published a how-to guide for continuous evolution with detailed protocols, diagrams & photos. This study shows how you can invest 2m bench space and ~$6k to set up your own system. ACS Omega, 2020.